Sunday, September 08, 2013

Five Tips To Reduce Email Overload

Email overload is a big issue for a lot of professionals. It’s not uncommon to meet people who spend an hour or more a day just dealing with incoming emails. Yet, with a little bit of common sense, knowledge of latest apps, and lifehacking, you can be on a path to Zero Inbox nirvana in no time, by simply following these 5 simple tips:

1. Enterprise social networks (ESN), also known as social intranets, are one proven way to reduce email. Research shows that ESNs reduce email load 30 to 40 percent and sometimes displace internal emails entirely, much like email replaced physical letters. You may think that ESNs are affordable to Fortune 1000 companies only, but that’s actually no longer true. New generations of enterprise social networks (like, for example) are either free or offer unlimited users for only around $100 a month. Nothing reduces email overload like using a social intranet for collaboration with your co-workers and clients.

2. Please, please stop being so polite. “Got that,” “You’re welcome,” “Thanks a bunch,” “No problem,” “Any time” — that’s one email nobody needs. Don’t reply to emails that don’t need reply. Turn off your autoresponders and “out of office” notifications, too.

3. Never leave your email address in the open. Is your email valuable to you? Then treat it accordingly. Would you flash your cash in the street? Not likely. Then why do your blog and social profiles all say “you can also reach me via email at…”? If you put your email address on your business card, people will send you emails. If you don’t want that, leave it out or use a secondary address. When it comes to your co-workers and business partners, have a clear policy as to when it’s OK to send emails and when it’s not. Also don’t be shy about who you don’t want to receive messages from. Feel free to tell that pesky PR person “I am not interested in your services. Please don’t ever use this email address, it’s for important business only.”

4. Get that app! There is an entire class of software and techniques specially created to increase your email productivity. SaneBox, Rapportive, Boomerang, PhilterIt, Gmelius, Xobni, Boxer -– these are just a few extentions, add-ons, and apps that can do miracles for your inbox. If you use Outlook, check out the “official” list of Outlook shortcuts. If Gmail is your thing, there are some pretty cool hacks available, too.

5. Use groupmail as little as possible, use throw-away emails as much as possible. Only send messages to groupmail and large distribution lists when it’s absolutely necessary, because they bring back an influx of auto replies, random responses, and unnecessary inbox clutter. One of the ways to prepare for the flood is to create a rule to send those replies to a new folder to avoid inbox bombardment. Throw away e-mails (20MinuteMail, Mailinator, уес) should be used when registering to test a service or an offer or when you don’t want to receive any emails from the website (for example, in order to get access to a news site).

Source - 5 Ways to Reduce Emails ( Email Overload Tips That Actually Work)